If, as expected, Borussia Dortmund confirm their passage to the next round of the Champions League on Wednesday (live on ZDF and Sky from 20:45 CET) following their 4-2 victory away from home in the first leg, Roman Weidenfeller already knows who he would like to face in the quarter-final: Barcelona. “I’ve never played against Barça. It would be a huge challenge to play at Camp Nou but it’s something I’d love to experience one day,” the Dortmund goalkeeper said in an interview with German sports magazine kicker. “It would be great to avoid an all-German encounter if possible.”
However, with 44 European and 313 Bundesliga appearances under his belt, Weidenfeller knows nothing is guaranteed, even after four away goals in the first leg in St. Petersburg, warning: “There is always an explosive element in a Champions League match like that, and we’re not there yet. We won’t take any risks against Zenit and will go into the match with total focus.”
Even if BVB were to progress, Weidenfeller believes Europe’s elite are getting stronger: “Several top teams have made considerable improvements since last season. Real Madrid, for example, wouldn’t let themselves be fooled by us like they were last year.”
"We're still capable of achieving our targets this season"
The goalkeeper, who has been at Dortmund since July 2002, is generally satisfied with his team’s performance despite the latest 2-1 home defeat by Borussia Mönchengladbach. “Any team that has so much bad luck with injuries but keeps themselves in the race is doing a decent job. Despite the recent reverse, we’re still capable of achieving our targets this season.” Presumably Weidenfeller would love to be travelling from Lisbon to Innsbruck on 25 May, as it would mean Dortmund had reached the Champions League final in the Portuguese capital and that Germany coach Joachim Löw had selected the 33-year-old in his World Cup squad.[bild1]
Oldest goalkeeper debutant in international history
Nevertheless, Weidenfeller is a realist and knows there are many factors yet to be decided. “It would be incredibly tough for us to reach the final again,” he said. And as for Brazil: “I have no idea if I’ll be going, but I was really pleased to be called up for the first time in November, and it was great to be named in the squad for the Chile friendly too.”
The keeper made his debut for Germany in their 1-0 win over England on 19 November 2013, replacing Toni Turek as the oldest goalkeeper to make his debut for Die Mannschaft at 33 years and 105 days. When it is suggested that Weidenfeller is in the prime of his goalkeeping career, he simply winks and says: “Well, I’m training as hard as ever and haven’t needed a Zimmer frame to get onto the training pitch yet.”